It sure is a beautiful Friday here in Tennessee. The greenest of greens has reached the top of the mountain, and today it’s nearly cloudless skies and not a hint of humidity. I just went for a little walk, and snapped the picture above. I love the light filtering through the trees, which means I live in the right place because the whole drive up and down the mountain is polka dotted — the sun and trees compete for space on the blacktop, creating an ever-changing work of art.
Ahh, but even with the beautiful surroundings, I’m not as full of wonder as I’d like to be. I have a child who’s general lack of gratitude has me feeling sort of bummed out. I am not the type of parent who likes to remind my children of all I do for them. In fact, I pretty much refuse to do that. I like doing all I do for them. Actually I love it. I do not mind spending hours upon hours in the car driving them around for sports. I honestly don’t. I’m grateful for their aptitude and opportunities. I like talking with them in the car. I think they are interesting and funny and even when they are quiet, I just like being with them. But sometimes, when there’s an air of entitlement I start to question if I am doing something wrong. Because honestly being taken for granted is just a pretty crappy state-of-being. I mean sure they gave me lovely Mother’s Day cards, which totally made my night since my flight from Detroit landed at 10:00pm Sunday night and when I got home everyone was in bed. Those cards meant the world to me. But sweeping platitudes aside, do your children live out the gratitude they surely expressed to you just last week?
Mine are sometimes incredible, but other times, like right now, I feel there’s a real disconnect. I need to pray about how best to engender a grateful spirit and for me I just know it cannot be reminding them of what I do. I’m just not doing that, and I don’t want Will to either. But if you have other ideas, I’d love to hear them.
Of course, the lack of gratitude problem is kind of a teapot and kettle situation. After all, how often am I guilty of ingratitude myself? Not toward my sons or husband (although I am surely that too sometimes), but toward my Heavenly Father. I believe every good and perfect gift is from above, and yet I am terribly ungrateful that I wake up healthy and energetic almost every single day. Just last night I rammed my leg into the corner of a bed so hard I thought I’d chipped the bone or something. It still hurt when I woke up this morning, but I think I’m fine. Upon reflection, it’s just a good reminder to be grateful for every little thing, but in the moment, I was downright mad about it. Just like my sons when something doesn’t go just their way, the inner ingrate starts to take over. They sometimes cannot look beyond a minor inconvenience to be filled with gratitude over everything else.
Lord, help me to be grateful. I see so clearly what ingratitude looks like. It is so ugly. Help me not to take YOU, my perfectly loving Parent for granted. May I recognize every gift is from you.
James wrote that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (1:7). Is that amazing? I started this blog about the light and the shifting shadows on the road before I looked up this verse. Now, may this beautiful sight be a reminder that God never changes. He always loves. No matter what. Even if I were the epitome of an ingrate, He will still love me. And guess what He loves you too. No. Matter. What.
Have a fabulous weekend!